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  1. #1
    Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Princeton,Illinois
    Posts
    14

    Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    I recently picked up two unopened bottles of "Benchmark" with a (Bureau of Distilled Spitits) Bottle Stamp
    over the top. They are 86 proof
    and do have a barcode at on the plain black and gold neck label but do NOT have the
    Surgeon General's warning label. They are labeled
    " Benchmark Premium Bourbon" and state being "Distilled by the Old Benchmark Distilling
    Co., Louisville,Ky." They also have a little oval
    label with a crest that states Integrity-Tradition-Craftsmanship. The back of the bottles are
    embossed in the glass with the same crest over
    "Benchmark"

    Any Idea when these bottles date from?

    Thanks,

    mark

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,942

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    Buffalo Trace owns the label. There was a Single Barrel Benchmark but it was discontinued and replaced by Eagle Rare Single Barrel. Benchmark lives on as " McAfees Benchmark". Benchmark is a relative late comer to the game, Cowdery has posted the date and story elsewhere on SB.com. I believe it was a late 60s early 70s introduction.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,569

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    The Louisville location is the puzzler. Benchmark and Eagle Rare were among the first bourbon brands Sazerac acquired from Seagrams. I can't imagine when they would have been produced in Louisville.

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    Are these bottles 750's or 4/5 quart? They could be bottles from the late 60's when Seagram's first released Benchmark and the bourbon was made at the 7th Street Road, Calvert distillery.
    Mike Veach

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    Are these bottles 750's or 4/5 quart? They could be bottles from the late 60's when Seagram's first released Benchmark and the bourbon was made at the 7th Street Road, Calvert distillery.
    I thought that as well, but Cecil/Coyte says that plant never made bourbon, just GNS and high proof blending whiskey.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    Chuck,
    This might be one of the cases where Coyte was wrong. I am pretty sure Ed Foote told me they made bourbon there because I remember him telling me it was not as good a product as the old Four Roses distillery on Dixie Highway, but Four Roses got shut down anyway for political reasons in the company. The 7th Street distillery was a better showcase for the company. Ed worked for both distilleries at one time or the other during his career at Seagram. He retired from Seagram before going to Old Fitzgerald in 1984.
    Mike Veach

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    9,055

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    I used to buy Benchmark in the 1970's and it was a rich drink with a smooth, full caramel taste.

    By the way, the expression "fifth" in my opinion derives from a former practice of selling whiskey as a fifth of a gallon. One fifth of a gallon (U.S. gallon) is 25.6 ounces. So is 4/5ths of a quart, but the expression 4/5ths could not have been corrupted to a fifth over the years (IMO) even though I know many people believe that. Somewhere in Sam Cecil there is reference to the old fifth of a gallon quantity; I'll try to find it.

    Gary

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,569

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    That makes sense. As I recall, the standard sizes used to be half-pint, pint, fifth, quart (mostly for bar use), and half-gallon. Relative to the gallon, that would be 1/16, 1/8, 1/5, 1/4 and 1/2. I think the airline bottles were 1.5 oz.

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    722

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    Gary,
    A 4/5 quart is 1/5 of a gallon.
    Mike Veach

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Toronto, Canada
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    9,055

    Re: Benchmark ?Premium Bourbon?

    Yes. Speaking for myself, I always thought fifth was a corruption of "4/5ths". Lately though, I feel it is not, but rather is a short form of the term, "1/5th of a gallon". I believe this appears in one of the old ads reproduced at the end of Sam Cecil's book.

    Gary

 

 

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